I want to put to rest some of the concerns which have been raised about the plans announced by the Isle of Wight NHS Trust. 

As part of the plans, the trust has announced a further partnership with Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust. Both trusts are now set to come under one leadership team.

This is being done to strengthen services on the Isle of Wight. Joined-up services – working with Portsmouth NHS Trust and the Isle of Wight Council – are an important step towards better healthcare for Islanders.

The Isle of Wight NHS Trust and Portsmouth NHS Trust are already working jointly to deliver acute services and have done so since 2020. The new partnership builds on this existing work.

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As well as closer working with Portsmouth in acute services and the Isle of Wight Council in social care, our Island NHS Trust will also explore how it can join together community mental health and disability services. This will provide the integration required to maximise the resources available to the trust.

I want to assure Islanders that the changes seek to enhance, not diminish the standard of NHS care, and to keep services on the Island. 

The IOW NHS Trust has committed to protect as many services as possible – and will minimise where possible any travel to the mainland.

Tens of millions are currently being spent investing in NHS services on the Island, at St Mary’s, in a new diagnostics centre and in a health hub in Newport.

Recruitment programmes are providing more nurses, more support staff and more doctors. Joint working with Portsmouth will enable us to have access to more consultants and more specialists.

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It is critical that we reform to keep our health services sustainable, to reduce delays and improve care for Islanders.

It is all part of my pledge to get a better deal for the Island.

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